Presentation on theme: "SERVICE INTEGRATION IN A REGIONAL HOMELESSNESS SERVICE SYSTEM Joint research project between Northern Rivers Social Development Council and Regional Futures."— Presentation transcript:
SERVICE INTEGRATION IN A REGIONAL HOMELESSNESS SERVICE SYSTEM Joint research project between Northern Rivers Social Development Council and Regional Futures Institute, Southern Cross University. Funded under the National Homelessness Research Fund See: www.fahcsia.gov.auwww.fahcsia.gov.au
Research Questions: 1. What service integration models work in regional areas? 2. What are the barriers/service system gaps to be addressed to maximise regional service integration? 3. What is the potential for increased cross sector collaboration in a regional setting? 4. What aspects of the findings can be generalised to other non-metropolitan settings?
Acknowledgement The most integrated service system is no substitute for an adequate supply of affordable housing and adequate resources
What Is Service Integration?.....linking, collaborating, networking, coordinating, communicating, cooperating, connecting, interacting, sharing, partnering, working together.....
Service Integration - Great But... – No single model suits all situations – Considerable time and effort to establish AND then to sustain – Costs before it saves – Not a panacea or an end in itself Sometimes single agency responses are all that is needed Not all services have to be equally integrated
Levels of Service Integration Service level (BOTTOM UP – voluntary, operational) – Individual Worker relationships – Interagencies, sector training – Service level MOUs, referral protocol or other agreed coordination practice System level (TOP DOWN – mandated, structural) – shared systems, joint programs, pooled funds
Integrated Homelessness Service Delivery Models Support only models – information exchange, referral protocols, case conferencing/coordination, crisis accommodation and support Support + housing models Foyers, Common Ground, Rapid Housing
What service system integration models work in regional areas? 28 examples cited – mix of service and system level, support-only and support +housing, multiple sector models Identified models in research region – service level, houseless, single sector -info sharing, communication mechanisms, some service level agreements
Critical factors for effective service integration (ranked) 1 Regular communication, networking; relationship building 2 Partnership agreements and MOUs 3Access to current service information 4 Access to housing Willingness to work collaboratively Joint planning Access to and involvement of government services and personnel Coordinated case management and referral 5 Sector building capacity
Service integration requires (literature and respondents): - Formal+informal mechanisms -System +service delivery level elements -Senior personnel with decision making authority -Multiple sectors Asked the wrong question Place-relevant strategies (opps + limitations) Service availability, govt presence, geographic spread (services & users), transport, housing supply, local strengths, local knowledge & exp., relationships
What barriers and service system gaps need to be addressed to maximise service integration in a regional setting? Knowledge of service system Capacity for early intervention Communication opportunities Sector building capacity; facilitated coordination Involvement of senior personnel, govt. & mainstream agencies Access to affordable housing Regional: absence of key services, p/t workforce, limited transport, distance, cost of outreach, service size
What is the potential for increased cross sector collaboration in a regional setting? Limited acknowledgement of homelessness service system membership Examples at operational level only (not system level) System functioning objectives and resources Use of existing cross sector forums/networks and local planning structures Varies from region to region – opps and limitations
What aspects of the findings can be generalised to other non-metropolitan settings? Caution against replication & generic responses Key – responses built on place relevant opportunities and limitations Access to key services (Centrelink, social housing providers, community centres) Distance, access to transport, outreach capacity Service size, p/t workforce Champions Formal & informal networks, Valued relationships
Thank you Trish Evans Northern Rivers Social Development Council firstname.lastname@example.org www.nrsdc.org.au